Ah yes, highway gas stations. Sanctoriums of relief and refreshment. Fixtures for ephemeral endeavours. Overpriced beef jerky.
The noble protectors who commit themselves to the thankless task of nurturing and preserving the assets of such an institution are a distinctive breed. Incomparable by vast degrees to the attendants of more localized ventures who provide the same services. Truly unique patronage. Admirable tenacity. And probably bored as fuck most of the time.
An everlasting amassment of drifters, globetrotters, trekkers, tramps & tourists have forever been solaced and rejuvenated by these vital, dark horses of the convenience-store echelon. Their tired eyes fervidly awakening at the beam of salient and emblematic signs. Billboards of luminescence assuring one that —yes —there is a place for your trivial necessities. You may empty your bladder in our domain. Sometimes we even have lottery tickets.
The Malahat Gas & Convenience Store is such a place. A pitstop emporium where the selection of healthy foods is as meager as your time spent inside.
Although it doesn’t share quite the same dimension of isolation as some other gas stations, it was certainly nice to see their sign on my horizon after two bottles of Montclair and a Vente Starbucks beverage.
I hurriedly approached their stronghold of sundries, tucked neatly next to the beaten-concrete highway, where the only nature seemingly present was the call of my own.
The attendant is friendly. He seems excited to see me until I brusquely make my bathroom intentions clear. As much as I would love to discuss current events and weather forecasts, I have little patience for such intercourse. Sorry man.
He instructs me outside, where I totter quickly to find the toilet. The bathroom is purportedly located down a flight of stairs, which someone has recently decided to water with a hose. This doesn’t bode well for my bladder, ready to burst.
The internal pressure is on as I maneuver myself down the wooden planks. I guess it isn’t too much of a hindrance, but for someone less able-bodied than myself, the stairs may have very well looked like this:
The door to the supposed restroom is ajar, so I step inside and find a washer and dryer—the make and model of which I am unsure of. I’m a Restroom Critic, not the Maytag Man.
I remember that there is a motel here, so I am not entirely surprised. I am a little alarmed, however, at how easy it was for me to enter this little laundromat for lonely wanderers.
I didn’t need a key, and I didn’t even physically open a door. I guess there isn’t any detergent around though, so I won’t be capitalizing off of any free spin cycles today.
Welp, it looks like someone’s leaving their underwear lying around. I guess since I’m now also trying my hand at laundry room reviews, I’ll go ahead and concede that this isn’t unusual.
It is gross though. It looks like a weird little slice of tighty wighty pizza or something. Now, I’m no prude, and have also been guilty of accidentally leaving garments behind in a rush—but this is a gas station motel. Please take care to collect your trucker ginch before departing. Come to think of it, I could use some new underwear. Finders keepers.
From the outside, the bathroom looks typical enough. Time to let myself relax. As I’m about to close the door behind me, I search for a light switch to no avail. Annoyingly, the Malahat has yet to install one. Or maybe someone just really liked the wall plate.
I laugh to myself about my earlier thoughts of being removed from nature. The only light I’ll have to do my business is the natural kind, coming from the window in the laundry room.
This also means I have to leave the door open. So much for relaxing. It’s pretty dark in here already, and while I pride myself in having excellent aim, I’m not sure how accurate it’ll be in an unfamiliar, pitch black enclosure.
I can’t tell if the seat is clean on account of how shady it is in here. I feel strangely paranoid, (which is also on account of shadiness).
They do have a supplemental roll of toilet paper sitting on top of the pink toilet tank lid. which is comforting. Presumably, a lot of TP gets used here. For wiping. For seat-covering. For phlegm. For cleaning up afterbirth. I guess the tedium of replacing toilet paper too frequently called for having an extra roll. Impressive foresightedness.
The sink is bone dry and probably as dusty as the paper towel dispenser. I wouldn’t even be so bothered if they at least had an empty pump, just to let us know they’re trying.
I guess someone needed some laundry detergent.
I won’t be washing my hands, which is good because there isn’t any paper towel in this Georgia Pacific dispenser. I can’t read what model it is underneath the thick layer of dust, and to be honest, by this point I don’t feel the need to investigate any further.
It’s time to wash my hands clean of this restroom. Well, I guess not. But you get the idea.
This place is difficult to score. I wouldn’t feel right about saying it was a particularly lousy experience. Gas Station bathroom-breaks are hardly ever glamorous affairs.
Still, I must heed my call as a professional Restroom Critic, and say that this place wouldn’t be my preferred location of pots to piss in. I would advise using this facility only in times of emergency. Any emergency, I suppose, unless you need paper towel. Or soap. Or a lightswitch.
Okay, maybe just avoid this one.
Toilet Paper Rating: 1/5
And before you make any judgment on my personal hygiene decision to walk out without rinsing, here’s George Carlin on the importance of hand washing:
See if you can find all the items in the “Stop and Stair” super-fun, completely unoriginal, I-spy-puzzle! (The photo is closer to the top of this review, in case you somehow missed it, you blind fuck).
- Pogo Stick
- Cracked egg
- Barbie Doll
- Plastic Army Men (5)
- Banana Peel
- A crooked nail
- Board with nail sticking out
- Children’s telephone toy
- Spilled Jar of Marbles
- Monopoly dog
- Bowling pin
- Roller skate
- Someone’s pet turtle
- Dump truck
- Smart Phone
- Mouse Traps (3)
- Coat Hanger
- Purple Dildo
- Waldo. Just kidding. He is there in spirit, though.